What are the signs and symptoms of deep venous thrombosis (DVT)?

Updated: Jun 06, 2019
  • Author: Kaushal (Kevin) Patel, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) classically produces pain and limb edema; however, in a given patient, symptoms may be present or absent, unilateral or bilateral, or mild or severe. Thrombus that does not cause a net venous outflow obstruction is often asymptomatic. Edema is the most specific symptom of DVT. Thrombus that involves the iliac bifurcation, the pelvic veins, or the vena cava produces leg edema that is usually bilateral rather than unilateral. High partial obstruction often produces mild bilateral edema that is mistaken for the dependent edema of right-sided heart failure, fluid overload, or hepatic or renal insufficiency. Massive edema with cyanosis and ischemia (phlegmasia cerulea dolens) is rare.


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